Personality Disorders
Mental Health Treatment, Boise, ID

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), a personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture. This pattern is manifested by symptoms in the following areas:

  • Cognition (ways of perceiving and interpreting self, other people, and events)
  • Affectivity (the range, intensity, lability, and appropriateness of emotional response)
  • Interpersonal functioning
  • Impulse control

The enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of interpersonal and social interactions. This pattern of behavior leads to clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, and other areas of functioning. The pattern is stable and of long duration.

According to the DSM-5, there are three clusters of personality disorders.

Cluster A includes paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder.

Cluster B includes antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder.

Cluster C includes avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

Many patients with a specific personality disorder may have some other comorbid form of mental illness such as an anxiety disorder, mood disorder, autistic disorder, or psychotic disorder. Medication treatment for personality disorders usually focuses on the comorbid mental health problems in the individual. Most patients with personality disorders benefit from long-term supportive and expressive psychotherapy including a family therapy process. Often patients close to the individual need to be involved in the therapeutic process to help facilitate an improvement in the patient’s overall functioning and level of happiness.